from JEAN KASSONGO in Kinshasa, DRC
KINSHASA, (CAJ News) – SCORES of people, including children, have been killed during a series of fatal attacks by armed groups on displaced people in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has expressed outrage at the murders.
In the latest incident, 26 people were killed this past weekend at Ndjala site in the Drodro health zone in Ituri province.
Ten women and nine children were among the dead and 11 people were wounded when attackers used guns, machetes and knives on the vulnerable individuals.
On November 21, a militia group attacked Drodro and Tché, another site for displaced people, killing 44 individuals.
More than 2 000 shelters were destroyed.
A week earlier, an armed group attacked a site for displaced people at Mikenge town in South Kivu and killed six children and a pregnant woman.
Eight others were wounded by machetes and bullets.
“The attacks, which stem in part from inter-communal tensions, compound problems faced by people who are internally displaced,” lamented UNHCR spokesperson, Boris Cheshirkov.
He said the theft of livestock, which often accompanied the raids, deepened economic insecurity while the violence adds to the distress of people who had been forced to flee their homes at least once.
“It also instills fear in local populations,” Cheshirkov said.
More 5,6 million people have been forced to flee their homes in the DRC.
This is an increase of 400 000 people compared to early 2021.
Of these, more than 330 000 are sheltered in displacement sites.
UNHCR has received slightly more than half of the US$204,8 million to assist affected populations in DRC.
– CAJ News